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Rescue Mission was made in 1987 by Sega for the Sega Master System. It was released in early 1988. In the game's story the player takes the role of a soldier who is assigned to rescue fellow soldiers well below the front line inside enemy territory. Those solders are wounded and need medical treatment. Therefore the player is accompanied by three medics, all with different attributes. The medics ride a handcart on rails to the injured solders to treat them. The aim of the game is to protect those medics.
Overall the game consists of 5 levels: A jungle, a swamp, a village, a bridge and an ammunition depot. The player uses a semi automatic weapon with infinite capacity and infinite ammunition. After a wounded soldier is rescued he drops an item. Prior receiving medi packs from those soldiers the medic must gain a level specific item from them. The level specific item is lost, when the player hits a wounded soldier. If medi packs are picked up at full health they will act as screen clearing weapon.
In every level are two kinds of enemies: white, normal soldiers and red ones. The red ones are special forces and can kill a medic with a single shot. Otherwise medics do have three health points and take two ordinary hits before dying. The enemy uses a wide range of weapons such as bombs, boomerangs, tear gas, grenades, rockets, mines and rifles.
If a wounded soldier is killed the level specific item is lost but apart from that there is no penalty. If the player shoots the medic he will be paralyzed for some time but won't take damage from that shot. If a medic is killed the level is restarted with the next medic. All those medics have different attributes concerning their skills on riding the handcart and treating patients. If the player is out of medics the game ends.
Personally I love this game. The cuteyfied war scenery reminds me heavily of the Nintendo Wars series. I found the ending to be pleasing and cheerfull. Speaking of which there are three different endings which differ by the appearance of the player character. The graphics and presentation are very well done. The music is not bad but it is a bit too high pitched to my taste. The transparent scoring system and the selectable difficulty help to keep this game interesting for a long time to a wide variety of players ranging from novice to light gun enthusiasts. With its creative concept the game stands well apart from the usual light gun games. The only downfall might be the aiming. I played Rescue Mission from the hips as the game lacks a calibration screen and I felt the aiming was a bit off.
The cover is really well made and interesting for a Sega Master System Game. The lovely drawn artwork reminds me of the Franco-Belgian comic scene.